As an artist, I am always finding inspiration from children’s books and sometimes I may be inspired by the illustrations. Sometimes, just a tiny aspect of a story or illustration can spark the smallest idea that can result in new artwork.
I have always been fascinated by the mesmerising and hauntingly dream-like illustrations of Arthur Rackham. No doubt, if you have had the pleasure of reading some of the classic childhood literature, you would have come across the detailed and enchanting work of this talented illustrator. Arthur Rackham is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential illustrators from the Golden Age of British Illustration and he has inspired many illustrators and artists of today. His detailed and expressive pen and ink images and watercolour artworks have graced the pages of notable classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wind in the Willows, Goblin Market, Tales from Shakespeare, Mother Goose (the Old Nursery Rhymes), Aesop’s Fables, English Fairy Tales…and the list goes on!
Arthur Rackham combines the world of humans, nature and whimsical characters with the surrounding landscape as if it were a natural occurrence. His artwork has the powerful ability to captivate and draw the viewer into the story and is rich in tiny details, raw emotion and character expressions. It is evident that he saw immense beauty and magic in nature and he had a flair for creating the most beautiful and ethereal scenery based on vast, gnarled or thorny landscapes. His trees were also personified, shaped like living creatures and at times had knobbly faces and long protruding arms; or portrayed as a sinewy shape with claw-like roots clenching the earth below.
I enjoy Arthur Rackham’s illustrations for their rich detail, immense beauty and deep story-telling ability. His illustrations sing to the imagination and send the viewer to magical, whimsical worlds…
We all see the world differently and interpret illustration, photography and art in vastly different ways. Through art, we celebrate everyone’s individuality – each of us have our own life experiences, our unique way of seeing and interpreting the world around us. What we see comes from within, and that influences the style and mood of our own art. When we admire and study the art of others, it is truly a pleasure to enjoy and contemplate, but it also enlightens our own creativity and inspiration.
Let’s face it, as the saying goes … Life without Art is, Meh!